Unnatural Disasters

UNNATURAL-DISASTERS

Racism and storms

The country’s eyes are fixed on the Texas Gulf Coast. Everyone is looking but not many are seeing what the local workers are experiencing. A grim Hurricane Katrina flashback plagues the coast as those in the area come to terms with the widespread chaos that Hurricane Harvey has unleashed on them. This is Trump’s Katrina, and “natural disasters,” like everything else, have a class character—that is, a “natural disaster” would not be a disaster at all if it were not for the specific way we produce human needs and the specific way human society is arranged. A category 4 hurricane smashing full force into the Texas coast would not be a tragedy if society were set up so that everything was properly prepared for these inevitable events. In an age when weather forecasts can predict devastating storms and evacuations are possible given the allotted resources, it is capitalism and not the weather that produces tragedy and creates the conditions for wide-scale loss of life. These disasters are no more natural than capitalism itself.

It is important to be historical materialists when examining the so-called “natural disasters” that routinely fuck up the US South. None stand out more in human cost than Katrina, which brought its wrath down on the people of New Orleans in 2005. Not everyone in the city was affected equally, and the real disaster struck just after the storm itself has passed. Houston is the new New Orleans and Harvey is this decade’s Katrina. Many to this day are still scratching their heads saying, “Why didn’t the people of New Orleans leave?” This kind of liberal hand-wringing stinks of uncritical support for the bourgeois narrative. Many did leave. In fact, over 100,000 of New Orleans’ Black working class were unable to return and were forced into diaspora.

There are material, social, and economic facts that forced so many others to stay and face death and displacement head on. Every two to three months the city of New Orleans would have a severe storm warning and encourage evacuation for storms that time and time again would never hit; this is common along the Gulf Coast. The vast majority of the Black working class in New Orleans lack job security and have severe difficulty in landing jobs in an economically depressed part of the US South. When they would heed the warnings and take refuge outside of their city, they would commonly find they had been fired upon returning due to missing work. The city urged people to evacuate the area, which they knew would be vulnerable to the storm due to racist, lazy, and greedy city planning that did not take necessary precautions to ensure that levees were secured in the poor New Orleans neighborhoods. In fact, it was well known for decades that the patchwork of the 50 or so levees that surrounded New Orleans would not be able to ward off a hurricane of Katrina’s magnitude. It was capitalism’s death threat of “work or starve” and “leave if you can afford to” that held the gun of Katrina to the heads of the Black masses. This is not the conditions that a lot of the white people of New Orleans ever had to consider, as even white working-class people were better taken care of than the masses of the oppressed-nation people.

New Orleans has a strong culture and tight-knit communities, and many of the people had not traveled outside of their neighborhoods for years on end. All their families, friends, and everyone they knew lived there in New Orleans. The city’s white population had contacts outside of the city, places to stay, and relatives to visit. Many of the Black working class who owned their own homes had them passed down from generation to generation—they could not afford insurance. The only way to protect their homes was personally and directly being present. Those homes, being uninsured, were allowed by capitalism to be blighted, erased, and forgotten. The upper classes had insurance and could actually draw a profit from the storm, and many of the wealthy had over-insured their properties knowing that they lived in a storm-prone region and would eventually profit. Renters especially among the Black working class were never able to return, and the absentee landlords never prioritized fixing the slums they presided over.

Houston, like New Orleans, is a Black city. Houston is the westernmost point of the occupied Black Belt region. What it faces now, and what lies before it, will be similar to what the Black working-class masses of New Orleans suffered after the storm. Contrary to popular belief, areas devastated by storms like Harvey or Katrina do not tend to shrink but instead grow; and with this growth comes intense stratification, segregation, and gentrification. Money from insurance held by the bourgeoisie and petite bourgeoisie comes like a second violent flood into the area. Relief money from the state and charities finds its stewards, in facilitating the “rebuilding” of the city at the expense of the working-class Black population. Any study of Black neighborhoods after storms of this magnitude supports this claim. Anyone who visited the city of New Orleans before and after the storm, who went among the masses, can grasp the second loss of culture and of community, as gentrified coffee shops and other white institutions popped up in the 9th Ward. It is no coincidence that the most white areas of the city were the least affected in property damage (the French Quarter and Garden District). Gentrification was not just salt into the wounds of a people who had already dealt with devastation—it was the final nail for many, causing long-term devastation and disaster for the community as gentrification displaced more communities far more quietly than anything nature has in store. And when gentrification destroys whole communities, the wealthy do not put on fake smiles and extend their charity.

In these times of crisis, the responders with the most gear and resources are the state and the reactionary non-state actors (white-supremacist militias), both of whom are armed to the teeth and itching to protect private property against the black working class that they most despise. In times of crisis, regular law and order is suspended and the reactionary racist whites go on hunting sprees, compounding the disastrous effects of the storm on the black community. Due to racist city planning that forced working-class and especially oppressed-nations working class people into floodplains or near poorly constructed levees and bayous, which tend to overflow, many have their death warrants signed before the storm even hits. And because the body count is already so high for those who die this way, many racist vigilantes get away with murder. In some cases it is the ongoing gentrification that forces these populations into precarious housing in flood-prone areas. Del Valle, just outside of Austin, is one such example.

One of the most affected areas in Houston is the neighborhood of Greenspoint. It’s not really coincidental that the city of Houston decided to place many of its Katrina refugees in Greenspoint, where they ended up relocated permanently. Greenspoint is a thoroughly working-class neighborhood, with 40% of its population making less than $25,000 a year. 60% of its population is Chicano or Mexican, 32% is Black, and only 5% is white.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when Houston goes underwater, those who sink are the poor. The ruling class has job security—their only job is to exploit others’ labor. Storms are profitable for them. Their vacation homes out of state, and even the homes they leave behind, are fortified and insured. They have private security and well-stocked provisions, resources that the working oppressed-nations masses of Greenspoint lack. The masses can only rely on themselves, and many in a city like Houston lack transportation or cannot afford to make trips even in the event of an evacuation or 24.1 inches of rain in some parts of the neighborhood, or a total of 17 feet of water. Those who cannot leave and have no choice immediately face the unrestrained violence of capitalism, not only in the form of threats from the police (former Austin PD chief of police Art Acevedo has already begun tweeting these threats of locking people up for shoplifting water in devastated Houston) but also in the form or predatory capitalism, which tends to immediately raise the price of bottled water, gas, food, and other necessities to draw outrageous profits off of the desperation and misery of the masses.

Houston drowns, not from the flood, but from capitalism’s inefficiency, the chaos of its markets, racist city planning, and inept political leaders of the ruling class. Even the head reactionary Texas governor was seen on the news strongly encouraging evacuation, while local Houstons officials told the masses over and over again to “hunker down” and that “it won’t be that bad”. This stay-home order not only confused the masses but has left many in impossible situations. The deaths of these people will only further stain the already blood-drenched hands of the city politicians.

Capitalism is certain death for the workers and for the planet. The environment that capitalism has created with over-production and a profit-driven mode of production has affected and intensified these routine storms via the process of climate change. Like the local politicians, the government’s top leaders are all in denial.

Communists exist to fight in the rift between the people and the state.

So what should communists do? We should serve the people and we should do so while exposing the lies of “natural” disasters. During the protracted people’s war in Nepal, the reactionary government would ignore disaster-stricken regions and allow the masses there to suffer and to die. The people’s forces led by Maoists knew that serving the people and people not profit must be our driving force. Everywhere there was a disaster, the Maoists would help the people, all the while increasing their popularity and sharpening the contradiction between the masses and the reactionary state.

In the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front, and the New People’s Army announced a ceasefire immediately after Super-typhoon Yolanda. They stopped all fighting without hesitation and began helping their people rebuild. The reactionary state had no interest in honoring this ceasefire because they had no interest in the well-being of those affected by the storm. This only exposed even further to the people that communists are their friends and showed the true nature of the reactionary state: they would rather kill communists than actually help the neglected masses.

We too must live up to the example of these comrades and go to where the masses suffer to lend a helping hand, to share in their pain, endurance, and triumph. The revolutionary mass organization Serve the People–Austin is already preparing to help those affected by the storm in whatever way they can. We encourage you contact them if you want to help (servethepeopleaustin@gmail.com).

To our comrades in Houston, friends, family, and beloved communities across Texas: our solidarity is with you. No one deserves the hell that capitalism makes of storms. We intend to keep fighting this system to construct a socialist society where people’s well-being is placed before profit, a society that could and would come together to greatly lessen the impact of such storms on the lives of the people. Our hearts ache with the pain of the people.

Solidarity and survival

—Red Guards Austin, 2017

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Everywhere a Battlefield

battlefield1

Martial discipline and the cultural sphere

Imperialist crisis, rising fascism, and widespread heroin epidemics

Even the most fleeting look at the conditions we live in has many on the left concerned: internet posts venting about daily anxieties and the recent spread of armed left-wing (or left-leaning) militias, while being drastically different, share a commonality—both reflect the correct understanding that things are getting dangerous. Most liberal and revisionist thinkers will jump through academic and theoretical hoops to cling to the fantasy that life is continuing on as usual. Meanwhile, those of us who have never had the money or the privilege to entertain those illusions must begin looking deeper into the conditions of US imperialism that have created the various battlefields we find ourselves on here, in day-to-day life.

US imperialism is spreading itself thin, facing crisis after crisis, and frantically searching the globe in search of victims and resources. Its reign as top dog since the end of WWI is materially threatened by the rival and ascending imperialist powers of China and Russia, who entangle the reactionary US military in proxy wars. This is the same type of crisis of imperialism that Lenin first brought to light: it is inherent to capitalism that rival capitalist states and blocs of states come into increasingly sharp competition (often violently) for resources, labor, and markets. And what concern us here are the specific effects on the population of a declining imperialist country.

Not unlike the people in other declining imperialist countries, the people in the US are racked with a number of torments and depressions. For the majority of working-class youth there is little relief to be found in the belly of the beast: young working-class Americans use or sell drugs or work dead-end jobs for low wages. Sometimes they do all of this at once. Youth in particular, and the working class in general, experience this despair every day. It has become so commonplace that it seems like the way things have always been.

Heroin addiction has now spread from working-class communities into middle-class and wealthy white suburbs. But this increase in white middle-class drug use does nothing at all to stem the flow of drugs into working-class and oppressed-nations communities. On the contrary, this flood is increasing. This spread across classes is only further evidence of the effects declining US imperialism is having in its own strongholds. (Heroin use has increased fivefold over the past decade, becoming commonplace enough to affect more than 3.8 million Americans.)

Drugs in general, but especially drugs like heroin, have long been used as a fail-safe against rebellious populations, and they have found their place in the capitalist superstructure in US culture. Throughout history we have seen the powers-that-be give us narcotic anesthesia when our hearts cry out for guns and liberation. The dystopian landscape of the US prisonhouse is riddled with the discarded used needles of this hopeless decision.

* * *

Similar issues have plagued others in the past, most notably in the Opium Wars inflicted by England on the Chinese people. China was at that time an underdeveloped and oppressed nation with a declining empire. Widespread addiction to opium had been forced on the Chinese people by England to the point that a majority of the population was left addicted. The trade in opium and enforcement of widespread addiction—a massive tool for profit and oppression—was taken up by Chinese warlords, who then forced the peasantry to abandon food cultivation for opium production, which they heavily taxed to outfit their scattered military bands. These conditions inspired “famine relief,” mostly from religious groups in the US (today this would be the job of NGOs as well). However well intended this charity was, it placed funds directly into the hands of warlords, perpetuating their rule.

In 1936, Edgar Snow, while observing poppy fields outside of Sian, wrote,

“Shensi has long been a noted opium province. During the great Northwest Famine which a few years ago took a toll of 3,000,000 lives, American Red Cross investigators attributed much of the tragedy to the cultivation of poppy, forced upon the peasants by tax-greedy militarists. The best land being devoted to the poppy, in the years of the drought there was a serious shortage of millet, wheat and corn, the staple cereals of the Northwest.”

Many peasants in this situation, robbed of their land, were forced into banditry or were press-ganged as soldiers for corrupt and absentee landlords who had developed into warlords. Opium helped to keep soldiers and even generals in line with colonialism as it swept through the country. These desperate and humiliating conditions inflicted upon the people gave rise to a desire for martial arts, physical culture, and a China that was not weak in the face of such tyrants.

The desire for martial strength was time and time again exploited and squandered by the reactionary nationalists of China, and this process is well under way in the United States. The youth of the US face a familiar desperation, and they too cry out for strength to confront their horrifying material reality. Many oppressed-nations youths find themselves in the imperialist military, duped into service when the only other potential options are low-wage jobs, unemployment, and drugs.

And these same conditions so favorable for dope epidemics are also fertile ground for fascism. Imperialist decline has historically been the soil for the most virulent outbreaks of fascism, and the US fascist movement has seen dramatic growth as a result of the US’s steady decline—the Trump presidency is not a result of anything else. A hungry, deindustrialized people, robbed of a communist party to lead them, are desperate for a break with the neoliberalism represented by the Clintons and the Obamas of the world. This has had an appeal to sections of the US population, particularly those steeped in traditions of settler-colonialism and scapegoat politics, and they reached out for this rupture in the form of a crass orange savior—Donald Trump.

Not everyone who thought Trump represented an appealing rupture with neoliberalism is a fascist. Some who even voted for him have since come to terms with the reality that he is actually just a continuation of US monopoly capitalist interests. Nonetheless, it is crucial to see and understand that the fascists have made use of these contradictions while much of the left scratches its head from its ivory tower while scoffing at the very masses they claim to care for.

The necessity of a decisive rupture with revisionist errors

Capitalism and its ruling classes are expert at suppressing revolution. In times of severe crisis they respond with fascism, but at other times capitalism responds to the threat of popular desire for socialism with revisionism. These are two rotted fruits from the same branch of capitalism. In the socialist countries revisionism is a way for capitalism to restore itself; but we must also see that in not-yet-socialist countries, it is a way for capitalism to derail and prevent socialist revolutions, regardless of their stage of development.

The modern revisionists tend to conjure the ghost of “ultra-leftism” as the number-one threat to the success of the communist movement. In reality, the main threat to the success of the left comes in the form of the default right-opportunism that is the go-to policy of the revisionists, substituting liberalism for Marxism and continuously squandering opportunities to build revolution. In short (even if they say otherwise), they focus exclusively on legalism.

This self-serving cowardice and elitism that calls itself leftism is nothing new. Lenin’s faction of the Social-Democratic Labor Party, the Bolsheviks (later the Communist Party), was born in struggle against a rival faction headed by social democrats (revisionists).

In an interview in 1925 Stalin explains certain conditions a party must undergo to achieve Bolshevization:

“The Party must regard itself not as an appendage of the parliamentary electoral machinery, as the Social-Democratic Party in fact does, and not as a gratuitous supplement to the trade unions, as certain Anarcho-Syndicalist elements sometimes claim it should be, but as the highest form of class association of the proletariat, the function of which is to lead all the other forms of proletarian organizations, from the trade unions to the Party’s group in parliament.”

“The entire work of the Party, particularly if Social-Democratic traditions have not yet been eradicated in it, must be reorganized on new, revolutionary lines, so that every step, every action, taken by the Party should naturally serve to revolutionize the masses, to train and educate the broad masses of the working class in the revolutionary spirit.”

Lenin and Stalin both represented a decisive break with social democracy. Bolshevization was utterly necessary for the party of the proletariat, to combat the ineffective and non-revolutionary nature of social democracy.

Two-line struggle takes place in every revolutionary effort. And just as the struggle against social democracy revealed to the Bolsheviks the new methods and styles of work necessary to march toward victory, today our efforts to abandon and make a decisive break with the useless methods of these modern Mensheviks must also bring us to new methods.

The grotesque liberalism of the revisionists

As the majority consumers of heroin became white middle- and upper-class young people, we have watched as politicians squirmed looking for “humane” methods of treating non–working class users. For our communities, which have been plagued by this poison all along, this comes with a certain sting, since the only thing our people were ever offered was incarceration and overdose. And truthfully, this has not changed—there is still one solution offered for them and another for us. As this process proceeded, this liberal apologism has seeped into leftism, taking the form of analyses that frame everything around individual choices. Motivated by a desire to protect the status quo where they can comfortably continue their casual drug use, and well-supported by their social networks and free from the harshest consequences faced by working-class users and communities, countless petit-bourgeois “leftists” avidly seek out and propagate rationalizations for drug use instead of analyzing the question in class terms, denying the devastating effect it has on working-class individuals and communities.

What are these Mensheviks’ pastimes? The petit-bourgeois youth who make up the majority of the revisionist movement spend their hours in sleek coffeehouses, vegan restaurants, and other cultural venues where working-class youths are not welcome and cannot afford. Working-class youth instead come of age on the basketball courts and in life-and-death street fights.

Culturally, the working class upholds symbols of physical prowess, with sportswear almost ubiquitous in working-class closets. We might not even have our Sunday best, but you can bet that we have track suits, sneakers, gym shorts, and hooded sweatshirts. Even the T-shirt itself was a working-class staple adopted from the military before it was appropriated by other classes. The elitist urban middle class turns its nose up at every bit of proletarian culture (until of course they decide to appropriate it for themselves and then exclude the working class from it). And this produces understandable class hatred toward them, and rural working-class Americans are not wrong when they identify the wealthy sections of urban populations not only as outsiders but as antagonistic ones.

The revisionist legal left parrots these anti-masses notions. They make anti–working class jokes, looking down on the populations of small towns and popular neighborhoods, seeing these masses as crass or irredeemably backward. They pride themselves on a style of dress that increases the visual distance between themselves and the working class. The tireless blaming of smaller-town masses for Trump; the association of enjoying wrestling, football, NASCAR, swap meets, or parking lot car shows with ignorance; and an aversion to martial arts and firearms—these are all rooted in anti-masses sentiment. The fact that leftists have not only failed to bridge this gap but so often actively disdain the idea of making any attempt to, has been extremely useful to right-wing organizers, be they fascists or religious fundamentalists.

The truth is, a large part of the growth of the fascist movement in the US is due to the fact that they have grasped a truth that very few on the left have: culture is a battlefield. In Germany, the Nazis understood this; Nazi playwright Hanns Jost famously said, “When I hear the word ‘culture,’ that’s when I reach for my revolver” (literally “When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I take the safety off my Browning”). In our own context, the fascists’ correct understanding that culture is a critical site of struggle—of war—has allowed fascism to spread. The right has both its digital brigades and its street brigades—it has music, movies, and visual arts. But more importantly we see it dominate in areas of martial resources: gun shows, hunting, contact fighting, sports, and so on.

We must understand that fascism has had the opportunity to appeal to and win over some sections of our class because the task of approaching them was deemed unfeasible and thus neglected due to the revisionist disdain for physical activity and emphasis on vain academic pursuits (ortho-Marxist do-nothings being only the most glaring example). Fascists loathe losing a fight, and many times when the numbers are even they will best the fighters of the left. While some self-identified leftists are practicing their Tai Chi, the fascist pursues and recruits among and with violent contact sports and martial arts. Revisionists have abandoned this trench and given fascists free rein. The reality is that sports clubs and martial arts are either explicitly or implicitly misrepresented by liberals to be irredeemably chauvinist. And while there is machismo in these places (surprise! just as there is in the rest of society), this analysis weakens the left both physically and strategically.

Communists should not seek to stand apart from the masses! We should eat where they eat, live where they live, and wear what they wear. It is petit-bourgeois individualism that seeks separation. This is the shape the error takes. It is no wonder at all why the working class has so often lately ignored leftism.

The working class and violence

“I don’t know how radical you are, or how radical I am. I am certainly not radical enough. One can never be radical enough; that is, one must always try to be as radical as reality itself.”—Lenin

Anyone who knows even a small amount of the history of leftism in the US can easily recall times when revolutionary politics succeeded in becoming genuinely appealing to large sections of the working-class masses.

From the Panthers to the Brown Berets, when urban youth forced into despair looked at them, the first thing that caught their attention was their militant appearance. The image of women and men in leather jackets with rifles and military attire made an irresistible promise of the possibility of relief from the grinding hopelessness and powerlessness of life under capitalism and white supremacy. A far cry from the lukewarm bookish internet professor, these revolutionaries meant business, and they looked the part. In spite of some real shortcomings, the revolutionaries of that period left a burning memory on the consciousness of the working class.

While all culture under capitalism (with the only exception being the revolutionary culture of rebellion) is in essence bourgeois propaganda, we must understand that propaganda is designed for a specific purpose: to resonate with a specific demographic to achieve a specific effect. For example, many readers who are not proletarian may not understand the reasons that NASCAR is widely popular: The sport requires daring and endurance, and raw power and complex mechanics are constantly at play. These are appealing to the proletariat because of its relationship to production; because the working class often dares to defy death, on scaffolding or in mines; because it must constantly endure the physical challenges of work; because it requires a level of mechanical knowledge; and most of all it is because it is desperate for the power it is robbed of.

Most appealing to the working class is physical violence. In popular neighborhoods, most serious disputes are solved by violent means, and workers find alien the method of phony compassion that liberal society prefers, a method that insists on using the proxies of the capitalist state to carry out violence that is actually even more severe. A petty crime between workers might be settled with a square go—someone might get hurt or even have to get stitched up—but this is nothing when stacked up against police intervention, with its unrestrained and sadistic brutality, the violence of long incarceration, or even death. Needless to say, the proletariat and the petite bourgeoisie have notably different experiences of and conceptions about the role of violence in life, in the world, and in history. Every working-class person has experienced violence at some point in their life, whether in the streets, at school, at work, or at the hands of the police. The petite bourgeoisie on the other hand can often live full lives into adulthood or old age without ever encountering violence directly. For them violence is an aberration, an unfortunate random circumstance that happened to the wrong person. For us workers, violence is a fact of life that we adapt to or are broken by.

The working class is a class that by its very nature seeks discipline, and has an infinite creative potential for revolutionary violence. The proletariat is without a doubt the toughest class ever to have existed, because it is burdened with the responsibility of ending all classes. It exists to do away with itself, and so it is condemned to win.

Working-class youth have always been attracted to real acts of rebellion. While activists wring their hands and say, “You’re going too far!” and “What about our votes?” the youth of our class are burning cop cars and shutting down cities. Without these youth, activism becomes just another sensible business complete with paid staff doing their best to prove to their ruling-class bosses that they can effectively manage the riffraff. Any future party and every party-building effort must take heed that to lead this class we must take their ideas, ideas that include urban riots and direct physical confrontation. We do not seek to become the party of the petite bourgeoisie! We must stand out starkly against the sea of revisionists in militant contrast as a fighting organization of revolutionary communists. And while street fights and riots alone are not revolution, they are powerful propaganda.

The masses themselves, who belong to no communist party or pre-party formation, have shown the way forward, without prompting, while revisionists hang back, wagging their fingers in disapproval, mesmerized by the idealist illusions that they turn to out of their deep fear of violence, sacrifice, and struggle. They expect to rely on the reactionary police and military for any and all defense, which more than anything shows which class they actually stand with. The black women’s militias that have begun popping up in Dallas and other cities, as just one example among many, continue to prove that the masses already grasp the solution, and in this case they lead the way.

A martial philosophy for the people

“Physical education not only strengthens the body but also enhances our knowledge. There is a saying: Civilize the mind and make savage the body. This is an apt saying. In order to civilize the mind one must first make savage the body. If the body is made savage, then the civilized mind will follow.”—Mao

Mao Zedong’s very first published article was on the topic of physical education. He explained how a strong China would need a tempered people to deal with the turbulence ahead:

“Exercise should be savage and rude. To be able to leap on horseback and to shoot at the same time; to go from battle to battle; to shake the mountains by one’s cries, and the colors of the sky by one’s roars of anger; to have the strength to uproot mountains like Hsiang Yu and the audacity to pierce the mark like Yu Chi—all this is savage and rude and has nothing to do with delicacy. In order to progress in exercise, one must be savage. If one is savage, one will have great vigor and strong muscles and bones. The method of exercise should be rude; then one can apply oneself seriously and it will be easy to exercise. These two things are especially important for beginners.”

We agree with Mao and add that this is just as true for us as it was for the Chinese people of his time. Mao understood this even before he had become a communist, as early as 1917. What lies ahead for the US left, at least in the short term, is a series of fights that we are underprepared for; we, like our class, have been robbed by drugs and liberal ideology, having some of our most valuable resources deprived from us. In the face of these circumstances, we argue that it is high time to embrace martial discipline and physical education as communists. It was this attitude toward discipline and physical strength that allowed the Chinese communists to eradicate drug addiction in China and build the country into the strongest socialist project to date, before capitalism was restored and addiction returned with it in the Deng years.

To teach the masses we must learn from the masses and learn to live as they live and speak as they speak. Liberalism makes itself visible in every revisionist organization, and one of the most severe consequences of this infection of liberal cowardice is that it leads the left to reject physical training and armed self-defense and to condemn proletarian culture in an effort to make itself seem refined, dignified, and acceptable to bourgeois and middle-class culture. Revolutionary communism, which is just reemerging, must bash through these falsehoods in order to pose a real threat to the system. In order to be born, revolutionary communism must attack and beat back revisionism. The two cannot peacefully coexist.

In confronting today’s revisionism, which is a contagion in the US left, our response, like that of the Communist Party of Peru, must be to dynamically apply Maoist principles to our specific conditions. For our collectives this means militarization.

Just as the Bolsheviks before us steeled themselves, becoming professional revolutionaries, we must steel ourselves in military discipline. We must be both politician and soldier. This is the requirement of our time, and we must stop avoiding the matter. We are physically weak against the fascist threat, and revisionism has been the source of this weakness. Although this particular issue has seen improvement in a few cities where Maoists are the best organized among the left, legalism remains one of the main obstacles holding back party-building efforts in the US, leaving the masses few fighting organizations with their interests at heart.

The propaganda victory among the working class that beating fascists in the streets offers cannot be undervalued. Every picture of a bloodied fascist and every trophy ripped away from the enemy inspires more people to cross the line from ideological opposition to physical confrontation. While our strategy always calls upon us to rely on greater numbers, we must also develop better fighters.

Lessons from the KPD

In the post-WWI years Germany was facing a profound imperialist crisis at home—with a failing economy, mass unemployment, and widespread despair. In these conditions fascism and communism contended in bloody street battles. Although fascism would eventually emerge dominant from these conditions, when it in turn was crushed, it was crushed by trained red militaries. The German Communist Party (KPD) led many mass organizations and initiatives against fascism, the most notable being the Red Front and Antifascist Action. The members of these projects were trained in street fighting and in firearms use (which they used many times, for instance to kill notable fascists like Horst Wessel, writer of the Nazis’ national anthem). And it must not be ignored that what the original Antifascist Action had in spades, its mostly anarchist contemporary namesake lacks: military training and a martial viewpoint.

It was seen as a success by the KPD of those days to have overcome its own legalism and drawn stark demarcations between itself and the social democrats. Coordinated strikes and illegal street demonstrations in defiance of police bans were not uncommon. They were taking up confrontations not only with the fascists but with the state itself. The level of violence of these demonstrations combined with the numbers they could draw revealed that the masses themselves had made a breakthrough, led by the communist party. We must learn from their experience and see every demonstration as a training ground for what is to come.

The KPD in their street war against the fascists left no trench vacant; they organized some of their bravest fighters from the local sports clubs in urban industrial slums of Berlin. These were the popular neighborhoods, broken by war and crisis, where the proletariat had little to no social outlets, neighborhoods like Neukölln and Wedding. The KPD would set up sports clubs or make sports fields out of vacant lots in its effort to serve the people.

Even the sections of the working-class youth that were prone to crime came under party influence with the development of hiking clubs, which would often (even without the party’s consent) expropriate camping gear from wealthy hiking/camping clubs. These red youth clubs not only made war against bourgeois youth but were also mobilized in the hundreds when it came to fighting fascism in the streets. Slogans like “[So-and-So] is a fascist and a danger to you workers! Hit him if you see him!” were posted up on the streets where fascists lived, drank, and worked. The German working class, huge sections of which were out of work, was recruited into fighting organizations, and every place became a battlefield, from beer taverns to hiking trails to sports games. Anywhere a fascist tried to act in the popular neighborhoods, the KPD or one of its many self-defense organizations was sure to respond. Even the social-fascist Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) scrambled to form its own (anti-communist) street-fighting units in response to the popularity of the KPD mass organizations.

The Red Front was structured along military lines and was a banned organization offering self-defense for the proletariat, including the unemployed. The Red Front, unlike the Nazi Party, did not enjoy plentiful financial backing from the petite bourgeoisie. A Comintern handbook from 1931 distributed to the German revolutionaries succinctly underlines this point by mentioning that “knives, brass knuckles, oil-soaked rags, axes, bricks, boiling water to pour on the police-beasts raging in the streets of workers’ quarters, simple handgrenades made of dynamite, to emphasize only the most primitive of the infinite and ubiquitous possibilities[, are all means] for arming the proletariat.”

Using methods similar to those of the people’s war in Peru, the KPD sought to use mass organizations to develop armed and disciplined fighters for self-defense, though unlike the Peruvian revolutionaries the KPD lacked a people’s army as well as the strategy of people’s war, which was only then emerging in China.

Reclaiming violence

The process of reclaiming violence is essential to undertake, and we must start now. To accomplish this work effectively we must smash liberal snobbery and go where the liberals fear to tread.

Many in the US Maoist movement are familiar and comfortable with proletarian environments. They are the same rugged places where most of us were born and the conditions that raised us. Still, somewhere in the process of politicization some of these same comrades have defected culturally, assuming the identity of upwardly mobile student or well-mannered activist—evidence of revisionism in the revolutionary movement. Others, who may be from other class backgrounds, have not yet been proletarianized, and have not yet taken a proletarian class stand, especially in the realm of culture. Many just fear to broach these subjects, and some have good reason for being hesitant to enter some of these spaces. Nonetheless these important trenches of combat must not be neglected any longer. This neglect comes at the expense of our class and our cause. In the worst cases, revisionism has turned former comrades into shills for liberalism, where liberals are in turn shills for fascism. Reclaiming violence means making revolutionary violence available to be utilized by all types of comrades at all levels and all abilities. It means training physically in flexible ways applied to the specific conditions of specific groups. Everyone, regardless of ability, can improve. This is not to do away all at once with the division of violent labor; the science of revolutionary violence is universal, and it must at the same time be applied with great care to the specific. In this process of trial and error we sharpen and broaden our skillsets.

Martial arts, firearms, and sports must be seen as cultural battlefields as well as invaluable tools in our revolutionary toolkit. It is the reactionary nature of the system to exclude those in most need of a resource from that very resource, even when those in need seek it out specifically. This is very apparent with the gendering that goes into sports and combat. While some of the most reactionary imperialist militaries have wised up enough to include women as soldiers, they still make sure that martial culture is coded as masculine. But nothing about the concept of a battlefield implies that we take it as it is and leave it that way. To the contrary, every soldier entering onto a battlefield has the intention and effect of altering what they find there, and culture must be approached in this same way. Martial arts training must be understood in the way we approach any form of education—as revolutionary communists. While reactionaries and many fascists will not take this step of orienting toward and recruiting women and other gender-oppressed people as soldiers, communists have a tradition of doing just this. In this we not only advance the proletarian women’s struggle, but we also advance the proletarian struggle in general by at least doubling our numbers.

Fully pursuing this rupture with the prevailing errors requires opening up work in many new trenches, but it also means applying all relevant lessons to our currently ongoing work.

The KPD sports clubs existed in a time without NGOs or community centers run in the interest of the city’s ruling class. But the bourgeoisie have since better learned to provide certain concessions as a way of attempting to maintain control over the working class. If that means building a rec center or a park in the hood, that is what they will do. We must understand as well as the bourgeoisie do that they offer charity and social programs as a counterrevolutionary measure. The working class is of course correct in fighting like hell to maintain these spaces and keep these concessions from being taken away—and simply put, life would be harder without these hard-earned outlets.

Service programs that operate along revolutionary lines do exist to provide for the working class what this system has denied them, but of course this crucially includes revolutionary politics and guidance in revolutionary violence. Organizations like Serve the People, which has branches in Austin, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Charlotte, Tampa, and Pittsburgh, not only provide goods and services but also exposure to and inclusion within communist methods and objectives. With all of these programs, like those of the Panthers who inspired them, what makes them dangerous to the bourgeoisie is their politics—infinitely more dangerous than free breakfast or diapers offered with a politics of charity.

Nonetheless these programs can undergo a certain form of NGOization if they become nothing but charities. And what’s more, we must not simply view these organizations as charity with revolutionary politics grafted on—revolutionary politics must be an integral part of, and the guiding force of, everything we do, including every decision we make about providing resources.

We must also see that the error of NGOization is not disconnected from the prevailing one in the left, either in form or substance: where petit-bourgeois “leftists” simply want to provide enabling indulgence to drug users in their current state, communists must always seek to provide revolutionary transformation. The working class very correctly bears a certain loathing toward liberal charity with its paternalism and phony sensitivity and compassion. They can see clearly that the mind of the liberal activist is self-centered and focused on whatever good feelings it can generate for itself by “helping others,” all while perpetuating the conditions of oppression and exploitation, not unlike Christian “famine relief” in pre-revolutionary China.

The establishment of dual power is a long process, but it necessarily includes both legal and illegal activity as well as community self-defense. Existing programs don masks and force gentrifying hipsters out of oppressed-nations neighborhoods with the threat of violence in LA. In Austin the organization has offered medics for front-line rally defense, gone into struggles around housing issues, offered entry-level self-defense and de-arrest tactics to the masses in their community, and has refused to ever seek a permit from the ruling class for any action or to disperse when threatened by city bureaucrats. Seeking such a permit would only be paying the enemy to do exactly what we do not accept them doing—policing us and the people.

All service to the people programs, whether or not they are part of the countrywide effort, must pay close attention to the cultural needs and wants of the people. To ignore this is to ignore a major field of ideas and to abandon the mass line method of leading the people. We must struggle to form red fighting gyms and reclaim old ball courts as part of this mass work, fulfilling the needs of the people wherever we find them. And we must go and merge with the masses in all these venues where they already spend time.

When we have taken up these tasks with sincerity and dedication, we will have truly begun building the movement that working-class youth in their masses will unite with.

Who endures wins

Taking up physical culture and establishing it as a trench of combat were integral to the Chinese people’s victory over drug addiction and became a valued weapon in the arsenal of the Chinese communists. When the masses are weakened, they reach out for strength, and this is as elementary as the principle that oppression breeds resistance. Martial arts increased in popularity among the people and took on a class character in response to the feelings of being dominated by a foreign power. In the US, the popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) and other forms of organized fighting has only been increasing.

Part of overcoming drug addiction is physical activity, and antifascism as well is in many cases a physical activity requiring strength of mind and body. A defanged, domesticated left is not only useless—it is a liability. All things take on a new character when wielded by a class; the fascist conception of physical training differs radically from the communist conception. Fascism in all its hyper-reactionary fury seeks to force things backward and drive the worst in humanity to even darker forms. Communism on the other hand is a revolutionary project, always moving forward. Its focus is the creation of a new society without states or classes. This new society is contingent on the emergence of new human beings, new ideas, and new values. We must approach our physical training with this spirit; we must approach humbly, without the toxic vanity that seeks show muscles, which are for the most part useless in combat.

Changes in general, including changes in the composition, culture, and ability of the left, occur through struggle and never through peace or tranquility. According to the Communist Party of Peru,

“We will immediately begin the socialist revolution, and that interval of blood and victory will be one of profound disequilibrium; even after we seize power there will be troubles and tempestuous winds. Thus these types of situations strengthen us; that is, this is how communists are forged, in turbulence and difficulty, never in calm. It is said that he/she wins who endures to the end and we know how to endure to the end because we have the true ideology: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.”

We can understand this principle as it applies to physical culture and martial life by seeing how necessity forces us to seek rectification. It quite easy to give up on thinking like a soldier when you have spent so long in revisionist circles avoiding the war. With the exception of some accomplished antifascists, we have a left that is ideologically and physically out of shape, with very few fighters who could hold their own in a street fight. Sometimes comrades must be humbled by their defeats in order to find the determination to struggle for the strength to win. Physical culture in the US left will not fall from the sky! It can and must be consciously sought by communists.

Just as the body is ignored in the liberal conception of drug use in favor of mental gymnastics, the physique of our fighters has also been neglected. What we cannot do without in the conditions that confront us is a physical and thorough antifascist culture.

The mentality of avoiding physical confrontation is hegemonic in the left, and this can be seen in the way the habitual protest activists organize. They have determined the field of combat not to be the popular neighborhoods, where the proletarian masses live, and have instead consciously chosen sites they deem safe, in city centers, well within their comfort zones. These sites exist in activist culture in every US city: the downtown capitol building (for Austin), town squares, and similar sites in other cities—you can bet these will be the location for every toothless liberal and revisionist event. You may ask why they choose to have the same ineffective, docile, ritualistic actions at these sites, and many cannot give an honest answer; the truth is, they do it out of habit. These habits and “traditions” did not just appear out of nowhere, though.

Maoists must struggle to examine these phenomena in class terms, and doing so allows for a few conclusions. These sites become habitual for the NGO, revisionist, and liberal organizations because these organizations in reality see defense as something that should be in the exclusive control of the state. When communists or anarchists organize for self-defense committees to protect their own demonstrations, the revisionist shrieks “ultra-leftism” because they are allergic to the very idea of a fistfight, and they still see violence as the unassailable private property of the state. Their refusal to train physically for combat is nothing short of their insistence that the very system they claim to oppose will in fact protect them. Perhaps it will, since they are its mild-mannered agents, similar to managers on the shop floor and the leadership of yellow unions.

The revisionists’ aversions to self-defense, arms training, and physical culture all stem from their thoroughly revisionist conceptions of legalism, entryism, and electoral cretinism. They have come to see themselves as a part of the system itself: it is their system, and the cops will protect them or carry out only the most superficial acts of repression—the occasional preplanned arrest or sometimes opportunist arrests “caused by” the dreaded “ultra-left.” This thinking has disarmed and disoriented many who show up to these rallies only to wind up wanting more after the tame revisionist actions concluded quietly. This thinking has systematically limited participation to only those masses who are willing to listen to the revisionists while excluding those who are fed up to the point of rebellion—rebellion that, when it occurs, draws forth swarms of revisionists who seek to capitalize off of the people’s struggles. They flock to places like Ferguson, Missouri, which had never seen any interest from any of the major revisionists until the people themselves started burning shit down. The poverty tourists arrive to sell their newspapers and quell the rage of the people, the people who have never once been protected by the police and the system, unlike these activists.

So what does self-defense mean for the rest of us? What does it mean for enemies of the state? It can only mean that we must develop red physical culture. It means that we must contend for ground that has been ceded to the enemy. That we train in both hand-to-hand combat and in weapons. We must take community self-defense seriously. We must walk away from the comfort zone of the legal left, and by extension it means that those who protect them are sure to attack us. It means that we return to our filthy neighborhoods of cramped apartment complexes and organize right there among our class. It means that we choose the field of combat thoughtfully and not out of uninventive and timid habit. We cannot expect a mass antifascist movement to develop its necessarily revolutionary character unless we move away from the state-ordained protest zones. We owe it to the people to become worthy fighters. We owe it to the people of Charlottesville and to our antifascist martyrs (three so far this year; as this article was being written we were just getting news of white-supremacist terrorism against antifascists in Charlottesville.)

Many revisionists would sit in the comfort of their middle-class homes laughing at the fascists who appeared on the scene with helmets and shields; they would accuse the right of pretending. The reality however is that they were not pretending—they used them aggressively against mostly unequipped leftists. While sections of the left were prepared for these confrontations, there has been a lack of effort to prepare the masses for such a battle. In Austin, our shields and sticks have gone blow for blow with the fascist enemy; it is not a costume as some would understand it (although there is a propaganda element of the theatric).

We are to our knowledge the only communist organization in the US that has been specifically targeted by fascists in the absence of a specifically antifascist action—which occurred when they mobilized and imported people into our city to confront this year’s May Day action. They too were not pretending. We must evaluate and understand their reasoning for this—they see us as their main enemy due to our ideology and our effectiveness. This reality has allowed us to improve our work and planning. It has led us to improve our physical skill with fighting, training, and street tactics. We are grateful for this experience, understanding that hardship makes us better revolutionaries. Our conditions are clear and illustrate the need for adopting serious physical education.

The war is not coming—it is here and now. We must take our historic task seriously. We must accumulate forces and steel them in small-scale street battles. We must respond accordingly to the apocalyptic reality that capitalism-imperialism has forced on us. There is no third way, no middle road, and all who refuse to grasp this have in fact chosen a side already—they have chosen the side of business as usual for oppression. We too have chosen our side and we have stood and will stand on the front lines of class struggles in the US. We are at war and we always have been—it is time we behave like soldiers. We are guided by the promise of communism. The world is in chaos, and we must choose either the socialist future or the barbarism of extinction, and this is what it means to live in the age of the strategic offensive.

Go all out for class struggle!

Train to win!

Enter the cultural trenches of combat!

—Red Guards Austin, August 2017

IRPGF Statement on the Martyrdom of TKP/ML – TİKKO Rojava Commander Orhan Bakırcıyan / Martager (Nubar Ozanyan Նուպար Օզանյան)

This is a guest article from the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces, an anarchist formation fighting in Rojava, honoring the memory of Martyred Maoist Guerrilla of the TIKKO. We are posting it here in solidarity with these comrades and in the memory of this hero of the people. We are especially moved by this statement. – RGA

IBO

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On August 14th 2017, TKP/ML – TİKKO Rojava Commander Orhan yoldaş was martyred during an operation in the region. One IRPGF comrade and two other revolutionary comrades were also injured in the operation. With a life of revolutionary struggle spanning nearly 40 years, Orhan yoldaş was an expert guerrilla fighter and commander for TKP/ML-TİKKO. He trained in Lebanon before and during the Civil War and fought for the liberation of Palestine against Zionism and reactionary factions. Under the nom de guerre Martager, he would become a commander in Palestine from 1988-1990. Orhan yoldaş as an ethnic Armenian fought against ethnic chauvinism and had a close relationship with ASALA as well as with the hero, Monte Melkonian. While fighting in Palestine his attention was drawn to the escalating situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and there Orhan commanded Armenian forces from 1991-1992. He returned to the guerrilla forces in Dersim and eventually took command in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2014, and in Rojava in July of 2015 as part of TKP/ML’s Middle East command. He fought against Daesh, whom he considered an enemy of the people and of the unity of Kurds, Arabs, Armenians, Turkmen, Assyrians and other minority ethnic groups. Orhan yoldaş was the embodiment of international revolutionary struggle. He trained, fought, and destroyed the enemy in multiple countries spanning the Middle East and beyond.

The IRPGF is based with TİKKO in Rojava and our two groups have been training and conducting operations together for many months. Our relationship has only strengthened over time; built on a deep sense of comradeship, solidarity and love. We are devastated by the loss of Orhan yoldaş who was an inspiration to all of us. In our time together, Orhan taught us what it means to be a guerrilla and how to dedicate one’s life to serving the people. Rarely resting during the day, he dedicated his life to constant reading, exercising and weapons training. From the pre-dawn hours until long after sunset, Orhan yoldaş would have a work rhythm that most, even those decades younger than him, could not keep up with. Though he was serious and disciplined, we enjoyed moments of great joy, celebration and laughter together. His boundless and youthful energy was contagious and no doubt came from a deep devotion to the revolutionary struggle. He always remained humble and grounded, never trying to be more than a simple worker.

 

We marveled at his knowledge and life experiences. We learned from his immense sacrifice and selflessness towards all people. The poorest villager turned into his best friend, and he was loved by everyone who met him. We listened to his stories over Arabic coffee; about Palestine, Lebanon and the struggle of Armenians in the 20th century. We shared such amazing and rich moments with Orhan yoldaş. Often heard saying, “It’s the dialectic!”, Orhan yoldaş would read and reread Mao’s texts for over 40 years taking countless pages of meticulous notes that he would discuss every morning with other TİKKO comrades. He told us that everyday he was still learning new things from Chairman Mao. With us anarchists of the IRPGF, he would speak about our common ideological links, taking the time to read and engage with our texts and analysis. Ideologically, we were bonded as international revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and anti-fascists who sought to fight against the state, hierarchy and bureaucracy. He was dedicated to building long term ties between Maoists and anarchists which he felt was important for advancing the global revolutionary struggle.

 

 
Orhan yoldaş, through your life of struggle and revolutionary internationalism, you have opened up the way and showed us the path of the guerrilla. You will always be remembered as our teacher and as a student of the people. A man of little possessions, who gave everything he had to the people, we will remember you with your tattered book of Mao and your Kalashnikov always by your side. You will live on forever in our struggles as we continue to battle the systems, structures and forces you dedicated your entire life to defeating.

 

 

ORHAN YOLDAŞ IS IMMORTAL AND LIVES ON IN THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE!

 

LONG LIVE PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM

& THE UNITY OF ALL PEOPLE!

 

VICTORY TO THE PEOPLE’S ARMED STRUGGLE

AND SELF-DEFENSE!

 

VICTORY WILL BELONG TO THE OPPRESSED

PEOPLES OF THE WORLD!

-International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces 

Create Two, Three, Many “Parties of a New Type”?

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There is no shortage of counterfeit “communist parties” in the United States. There is one for every season and for every flavor of revisionism, and now there is one more for the garbage heap, one more that must be swept away in the revolutionary process. This process has twists, turns, advances, and retreats, and this statement is not intended to definitively put the matter to rest but instead to continue the struggle against misconceptions, lies, and outright charlatans.

Sometime around 3am on the morning of Sunday, August 6, a group (presumably a group) declared themselves a pre-party formation. This is not uncommon in the age of internet role-playing and substanceless declarations. But the reason it concerns us is that this one claims to be Maoist.

The document itself is short and arrogant. The “organizing committee” issuing the document makes lofty-sounding calls and even attempts to describe itself with what might seem to be basic Maoist principles and language. But what about its substance?

It begins almost immediately with a vulgar and false attack on the actual US MLM movement, which it positions itself against from the start. It deliberately misrepresents the composition of our movement, stating that we are

“Scattered and feuding bands of overwhelmingly white and petit-bourgeois leftists who decided to pick up some books one day, substituting meaningless posturing, practical anarchism and a red cloak to draw the attention of others of their class background and psychology are not revolutionary.”

Let’s go into these claims, starting with the allegation that all we are is scattered, feuding bands. All established collectives with provable mass work in the US enjoy more unity now than at any point in recent years. What these revisionists call feuding we can only call a united effort against their brand of false Maoism. We make no apology for class struggle, and that includes the struggle against revisionism, whether or not it wears a Maoist mask.

The second lie is that the US MLM movement is “overwhelmingly white.” There is no attempt at all to prove the claim—it is tossed out in a pathetic effort to discredit our diverse multinational collectives on the basis of hollowed-out identity divorced from political content. The fact is that the most advanced MLM collectives in the US do mass work within oppressed-nations communities, and these oppressed nations have produced skilled organizers who hold positions of leadership in every collective that has been excluded by this false “pre-party formation.”

Next, we should clarify that we did not just “decide to pick up books one day.” While there is nothing wrong with picking up books, if they had bothered to study the history of the collectives they attack, they would quickly learn that we all developed in material struggles of our class and then, in that process, reached out for the theory that would most effectively serve our class: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

On that note, the document makes a claim about the class background of those in our movement, but once again presents no evidence. What’s more, class background only counts for so much, and it is telling that this statement makes no mention of class stand. For instance, what about the petit-bourgeois class stand indicated by choosing to form a “pre-party” overnight without the participation or support of the most established and advanced Maoists in the country, who are patiently and painstakingly working toward real unity? For the record, plenty of us are working-class, from working-class backgrounds. Here the paper again puts identity above political line. For more on this error, please read our piece “On Identity Opportunism.”

They go on to say,

“Those who willfully and purposefully isolate those patient and deep rooted community organizers who do mass work specifically tailored to and designed for the American proletariat and other exploited classes today will not build a party. They are not revolutionary. They build cliques and cults and contribute only to pointless bickering and macho posturing which generates burnout, disillusionment and attention of a negative type. We know this, because we’ve been through it, witnessed it and rejected it.”

Let’s also take this claim by claim.

We fully agree with the first sentence, which makes the declaration of this “organizing committee” even more incomprehensible, because it exists on the basis of excluding organizers who have done years of patient mass work and have developed useful programs and mass organizations. These include the premier anti-gentrification work in Boyle Heights, home of RGLA, and the trans housing program, free food programs, and other mass work in the home cities of the other Maoist collectives.

We find the charge that the US MLM movement contains cults to be particularly revealing, because “cult” is so commonly the go-to pejorative used by revisionists who wish to denounce a thing without calling it revisionist. Lenin explained that revisionists always deny the existence of revisionism lest they reveal themselves. Instead, they tend to throw out scary terms like “cult” without attempting to explain exactly what cults are. For most revisionists, to scientifically analyze something would be to try to handle tools that could easily reveal them as the frauds they are. To be clear, an organization is a cult if it seeks to cultivate the suspension of critical thinking in an abusive effort to coerce or trap membership. Calling an organization a cult in a casual way makes light of the serious abuse carried out by actual cults. This is reckless labeling unfitting for a communist to engage in.

While the enemy tries to paint the actual Maoist movement in the most despicable light possible, we can only refer to the democratic traditions within our movement; to our many, sometimes drawn-out struggles for unity; and to our patience in establishing a pre-party formation, all evidence that our organizations have not been robbed of their critical thinking.

Next they charge us with posturing. This is another claim that so much more aptly describes themselves. Say what you will, at least we did not declare an organizing committee overnight, we are not merely pretending to be communists, and we do the necessary patient work to link with the masses.

Finally, they claim that the genuine MLM movement promotes burnout. Is it true? Well, a movement suffering from burnout would be shrinking and not growing—it would be dividing and not uniting. Maybe the burnouts they’re thinking of have floated to the bottom, where they formed this “organizing committee.”

In truth, their posturing and prioritization of identity over political line suggest something about their deeper error: a type of petit-bourgeois idealism designed to be most attractive to others taking a petit-bourgeois class stand, who are disinclined to investigate the substance of any particular claim and are most interested in what sounds most thrilling.

But beyond just showing how this “organizing committee” is projecting its many errors onto the existing US MLM movement, it is also important to go into exactly how badly mistaken they are about what they claim to be doing.

For starters, this project that aims to build the MLM party proposes what amounts to a call for a united front with revisionism. It should go without saying, but Marxism-Leninism-Maoism emerged from the need to clearly and decisively break withrevisionism. But this “MLM” organization announces that they will “build and link … non-Maoist comrades and formations” and then repeat later that they will “link up with comrades who may not be Maoist.”

To be sure, while non-Maoists will certainly compose a large number within even Maoist-led mass organizations, in this case exactly what type of relationship they propose isn’t clear. But even their lack of comment on this question reveals their wholly un-MLM attitude toward revisionism: “Why clarify what our line is toward revisionists?” Exactly how anti-revisionist they plan on being at any given moment seems to depend on how convenient it is for them.

These revisionists also state that the Maoist party “is seen as the vanguard of the masses by the masses, in particular the masses of the proletariat.”

We wish to emphasize the wording “seen as” here, because it illustrates so well their complete disregard of actual revolutionary science. Contrary to their claim that the party is the vanguard of the masses and of the proletariat “in particular,” the party is in fact the organized expression of the proletariat. And it is the party of the proletariat, and only of the proletariat.By suggesting it should be seen as the vanguard of the masses by the masses, they stumble near the Khrushchevite idea of a “party of the whole people,” an idea Mao mercilessly exposed in his struggle against phony communists. As with so many things in this document, it is difficult to tell how committed the “organizing committee” is to this mistaken formulation. But whether it is so under-developed that it cannot identify when it espouses “party of the whole people”-type Khrushchevite revisionism or if, in fact, it would double down on this line if directly questioned about it, it is anti-Maoist all the same: it demonstrates a stark liberalism that suggests that the party doesn’t need to draw firm lines or make clear and comprehensible formulations. And it barely needs to be said, but anyone capable of wandering into this theoretical mistake is not remotely fit to spearhead the foundation of the party of the proletariat.

The document also calls for summations but does not offer any from its many signatories, some of which contain only one person in their so-called “branch.” Single-person branches are an error already exposed in the recent history of the US MLM movement with the collapse of the NCP-LC, a verdict that would be known to them if they were genuinely interested in summations. But what’s more, when you ask the local Maoists who have actually and demonstrably been undertaking mass work in the cities listed at the end of the document, they say that their projects are not involved in this “organizing committee.”

On the subject of summations, the document also has some nice-sounding things to say about self-criticism, but this “organizing committee” is not even self-aware, let alone self-critical. Where is the self-criticism from the leading “collective” of this project, the very collective that has alienated itself thoroughly from the established Maoist movement? No communist goes without making any errors, least of all the “collective” spearheading this process, but nothing of their errors has been synthesized. And so like fools they stumble into their next mistake—forming a pre-party formation without a firm basis for unity and without any semblance of mass support.

And that gets to the heart of the question—exactly how does the organizing committee propose to organize the party?

They describe their intentions as follows:

“The purpose of the Maoist Communist Party Organizing Committee is to link up and unite all Marxist-Leninist-Maoists who can be united within the interests of revolution, to build working relationships with people, and to build and develop mass work practice and interpersonal and organizational unity, as well as to engage in principled and thorough struggle in the interests of advancing the utmost task of building a genuine party.”

This actually says nothing at all about organizing the party. It doesn’t even understand what an organizing committee actually does. This self-description is better suited to describe the activities already regularly being carried out by every collective that the “organizing committee” has abandoned and chastised. Linking up Maoists is the function of a liaison committee, not an organizing committee, which develops once the Maoists are linked up and have struggled for unity. An organizing committee has the responsibility of taking the existing groups and forming them into one—of organizing democratic centralism and electing countrywide and local leadership. This is work that immediately precedes the founding of the party. While confusion about the meaning of the terms is forgivable, launching a countrywide “organizing committee” without even establishing or developing cadres countrywide is not.

Let us be as clear as we can be: The basis of the knowledge necessary to organize the Maoist communist party will come about through practice, a practice sadly lacking in this project. Correct lines come about not from lofty abstract ideas and wishful thinking but through two-line struggle based on organizing among the masses. This effort takes the organizing of the party less seriously than one would take baking a cake. The fact is, conditions objectively do not merit its founding, and its own subjective forces also do not constitute a reasonable foundation for such an effort by any stretch of the imagination. They lack credibility and experience, both of which Lenin describes as necessary to form a revolutionary party. We see party-building as the principal task of all true communists in the US. Our position on this has not changed, and we continue to struggle forward, toward this goal. But we will not pretend that we can accomplish this task simply by declaring that we’ve accomplished it!

For a Maoist pre-party formation to have any validity, it would necessarily include organized and proven Maoists. It cannot be formed casually, with branches that have no history of proven practice. The idea that this is actually possible throws even the most basic Marxist theory of knowledge into the garbage. How could these “branches” meaningfully participate in the process of founding a communist party when only through mass work can a person have any valid ideas about how to build the communist party?

On that note, the lead “collective” is no more than a year old and has very little experience and even less proven success. It has tailed social democrats, run depoliticized, low-quality service programs, and even formed alliances with some of the most reactionary Trotskyite organizations. This is what those forming the “organizing committee” see as the “vanguard” of their movement.

We do not fault the genuine desire of comrades who feel the dire need for a Maoist party even if they have been roped into such a fool’s errand. Nonetheless, party-building means going all in for class struggle. It means proving our theory in practice and struggling around summations of our work for greater unity, a process that is ongoing and in fact has gone on for several years, steadily advancing us toward our goal.

We will not sell the snake oil of a false organizing committee to the people. The people deserve better than these charlatans. Communists must be the tribune of the people—this is necessary for the title of communist to have any meaning at all.

Serious-minded revolutionary communists in the US prisonhouse of nations must also take up security precautions and vetting processes and guard our internal information from the state, reactionaries, and revisionists. An “organizing committee” formed without a congress ever having been held, without a single face-to-face countrywide meeting, cannot begin to be trusted with the security of its members or the masses whom it aims to represent. The leading collective, based out of St. Louis, holds its cadre meetings over Google Hangouts and other online chat groups. This is beyond a doubt the way this “OC” was slapped together—hastily and without serious thought or honest hard work.

The absence of any real founding congress also indicates another alarming aspect: the lack of any actual coordinated political line struggle. Without such struggle, objectively there is no way it could have achieved genuine and deep unity with itself. No real space has been given to actually developing founding principles that are upheld by its signatories, and it truly has earned the nickname “the Communist Party of Facebook.”

When the real Maoist party is organized it will not be one or two new and undisciplined collectives and a scattered group of our online friends. It will be all of the most established, experienced, and steeled collectives in the US, holding an actual congress where we can struggle out ideological and political differences in a democratic process that will allow us to have true and honest unity. It will be on the basis of years of provable mass work and connections to the masses and each other. A “party formation” that allows random people from the internet to open branches is nothing but fool’s gold that cannot be expected to produce a single Bolshevik. We simply do not recognize this abomination. It is illegitimate and an affront to revolutionary communism. We will not recognize its branches or its leadership as a legitimate organization and we will not communicate with such a liability.

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Actual Maoist-led action in Austin, Texas

To be clear, we consider this a counter-revolutionary project that is concretely opposed to the whole of the MLM movement in the US (not just against those we are friends with). We do not seek pride of place and understand fully that the party-building effort rests with other Maoists, including those we are still struggling with. To anyone who may want help building a collective, we have always been more than willing to offer advice based on our limited experiences. We discourage anyone from falling into the bog of the new revisionist “OC” and encourage anyone duped into thinking this is legitimate to reach out and link up with actual Maoists.

Be humbled by the masses

Investigate the mass work of communists among the people.

—Red Guards Austin, August 2017

Observations and Analysis on Fascist Activity in Texas

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Neo-Nazi met with swift resistance after attacking Communists in Austin, June 11th 2017

On July 2, 2017, the far right and assorted fascists tried to bully and intimidate a large group of liberal Democrats who were participating in an “Impeach Trump” rally. It is not appropriate to think of the antagonists as fringe elements: fascism has been a steadily growing popular movement in the US, and Texas is no exception. However, there is unstable unity at best in the enemy camp. The popular fascist movement is rife with contradictions, not only ideological contradictions but also tactical and strategic contradictions.

It is crucial to understand that the far right relies on having a common enemy to unite around since there can be no unity among their varying programs and agendas. Every public action they take demonstrates this fact and shows off their own instability. They hoped to find this common enemy in the form of “antifa” and “red guard” [sic]. Fascist organizers are so desperate to conjure this enemy that they resort in many instances to false flag events and phony “antifa” pages that promise the bullheaded participants an enemy to confront. This tactic seldom pays off, and many are discouraged to be denied their promised glimpse at “antifa.” This slightly humorous scenario has played out all over the country, most notably in Houston around the Sam Houston monument and in Gettysburg, VA, where a fascist who came to fight “antifa” accidentally shot himself with a faulty revolver that he triggered with a flag pole. They attempted the same thing here in Austin on July 1. They used a fake antifascist page with the name “antifa USA” to bait antifascists to their rally—it did not work. Upon finding no “antifa” and no Red Guards Austin, they began accusing everyone from the Clintonites to the APD of being a “communist.” As funny as this sounds, what is exposed in their thinking is a more serious danger—and it is a harbinger of what life under growing fascist terror will resemble.

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Neo-Nazi Proud Boy Kyle Chapman attacks liberal Democrat in Austin, July 2, 2017

These events also expose a particular weakness inherited from the anarchist adoption of the name Antifascist Action. The original Antifascist Action was a far cry from the decentralized and largely depoliticized anarchist model of leaderless resistance. Antifascist Action and many of its variations were paramilitary street-fighting units with a relatively good level of discipline, sharing both strategy and long- and short-term goals. It was deeply connected to the German Communist Party, which controlled the proletarian slums and neighborhoods  in pre-fascist Germany. Then too it came into sharp contradictions with social democracy and the liberal so-called left; these contradictions were often violent. We must understand that with its decentralized and low level of action, faulty communications networks, and completely voluntarist approach to work, it will continue being easy for anyone to call themselves “antifa” and call for actions that are not only risky and foolish but outright disadvantageous to the point of promising an enemy victory. In spite of the fascists’ claims, they were robbed of this victory in Austin—their honeypot was smelled for the trash heap that it was and everyone on the local level knew already that the calls to action from “antifa USA” were made by people outside of Austin who have no clue on what is going on in our city. No one was fooled and no “antifa” took the bait.

Still, to correct these errors we must seek a higher level of organizing antifascist resistance. We must study and apply military strategy when confronting the enemy, and we must not give the enemy any easy victories. Sometime this means being maneuverable and elusive and confronting them one by one, bite by bite, until they are eradicated. We study Mao on this question: even the US military finds it crucial to study his works on asymmetric warfare—it would seem the only ones not studying Mao are the common fascists. In the long term this contradiction will be solved with the creation of the Communist Party, which will lead the proletariat in all aspects of struggle, including the struggles against fascism. Today such a party would be necessarily guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

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Learn to fight like a guerrilla

Why were communists not on the front lines defending the liberal march?

For starters we were not asked to defend them; we have no basis for unity with Democrats. The Democratic Party, which led the country for the past two presidential terms, and, true to its whole history, faithfully represents the bourgeois class. Obama was our enemy as we raged in the streets over the continued murders of black people by the police, and Hillary Clinton has been implicated in countless war crimes and is as dirty as they come—and we make little distinction between her and Trump politically. What the Democrats have given us is worsening conditions and imperialist crisis, which creates the fertile ground for fascism. While the system remains intact, we see very little to no use in impeachment campaigns, as whatever pig this system chooses for president still represents US imperialism and the monopoly class of capitalists at the top. Impeachment is simply not a communist demand, as it allows the state to go on with its bloodthirsty, genocidal activity without so much as skipping a beat. What we fight for is the smashing of the old state and its replacement with a new proletarian state.

More than anything else though, the contradiction between the fascists/far right and the liberal Democrats shows the faulty logic of the fascists’ reasoning as much as it shows the futile death throes of the Democratic Party, whose mass base is becoming more and more disillusioned with it. The dominant narrative among fascists in the US is one of “free speech” and First Amendment rights. They declare that because their hate speech is technically protected it should be accepted with no resistance and no consequence. These fascists of course did not care that the right to call for an impeachment is also protected free speech, as they chose to try to surround a number of Democrats. What the fascists detest is any sort of freedom for anyone outside of their preferred national interests. Fascism itself is the promise that democratic rights of all types are on the way out—especially for the working classes and particularly for oppressed sections of those classes. But the liberals’ faith was shaken. They insist that the police be worked with—the same police who time and time again not only defend but give physical assistance to fascist violence in Austin. The liberal Democrats paint both neo-Nazis and communists with the same brush. They are as guilty as the right of spreading rumors and disinformation about the masked bogeyman “antifa.”

On July 2 in Austin, many liberals for the first time (through the blinders of their own middle-class upbringing) came that much closer to understanding the purpose and necessity of antifascism. They begin to notice that Trump himself is not the biggest issue—fascism is. In this process many of them will bury their heads in the sand and forget what they witnessed firsthand in regard to the police/fascist collaboration. Others will begin to understand the purpose and necessity of antifascism, of organizing strong and militarized forces capable of defending the people, of pinning the fascists down and upon either violence or the threat of violence forcing them out. The fascists themselves as well as the current administration will be a recruitment force for the communist movement polarizing society and driving many to the far left. In the future under conditions of war they will be this movement’s supply line for weapons and equipment, which will be captured in battle.

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Street battle in Berlin between communists and Nazis

The fascists have been unpacking a very old strategy whether or not they are themselves cognizant of this. In the years before Hitler came to power the Nazi party attacked left-leaning cities in Germany, focusing on proletarian neighborhoods in an effort to soften the hard communist influence. The Nazis understood how to manipulate and use the social democrats, who were the ruling party at the time, to their advantage. They also knew that the threat posed by their opposite (the Communist Party) was a significant one that could block their attempts at gaining state power. Now, just as then, the fascists target and focus on what they understand to be left centers: Austin, Berkeley, Portland, Seattle, and the list goes on. We should understand every street as a battleground, every place of social gathering as a site of struggle; we should understand that the solutions to this system will not grow within its institutions. We should give them no quarter in our workplaces and schools, and we should apply antifascism creatively and widely in ways that benefit the people. Antifascism must speak to the needs of the people—if it does not accomplish this, the fascist will be allowed to trick and deceive to push their poison on desperate communities. We should understand that the lack of solutions from either the Democrats or social democrats is precisely what made some people desperate enough to see a solution in Donald Trump, whose election victory blew wind into the sails of fascism.

We call on all those who struggle in the state of Texas to get organized, to cast aside illusions of a leaderless resistance—a pipe dream of an Occupy Wall Street type of antifascism—in favor of a genuine mass-based antifascist resistance organized along militant lines. We call on you to see the current struggles against fascism as warfare. We must institute people’s self-defense committees against fascism. We must learn to defend ourselves: to shoot and to fight. We must be better in all respects than the enemy, not only in ideological principle but in our physical abilities, in our courage, and in our perseverance. The battle for the streets has already commenced, and the least safe place is on the sidelines when there is no one left to defend you from the threat inherent in fascism’s rise. In these struggles we will build our party and we will win.

“Physical education not only strengthens the body but also enhances our knowledge. There is a saying: Civilize the mind and make savage the body. This is an apt saying. In order to civilize the mind one must first make savage the body. If the body is made savage, then the civilized mind will follow.”—Mao Zedong

No Border Walls on Our Land, Take Your Ass Back to 4chan!

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A sloppy xenophobic hate group named ACT for America attempted to have a “March Against Sharia Law” today in Austin Texas as a part of a lager national protest. What unfolded was a miserable failure for these reactionary bigots – we would settle for nothing less.

A woman who goes by “Lauren Morris” was the apparent shot caller of the “March Against Sharia Law” protest. When interviewed she was forced to admit that the anti-fascists prevented her group from marching and giving their prepared speeches. This middle-aged white woman claims that her reasoning for amassing such a despicable group of 4chan nerds, confederates, and neo-Nazis is that she has been a victim of “female genital mutilation” by a doctor she believes was practicing sharia law on her. There is no need to point out how utterly ridiculous such a claim is.

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The fascists stayed huddled up on the capitol’s sidewalk steps in the shade, pinned to a fence and surrounded by anti- fascists and other counter protesters who greatly outnumbered them and surrounded them on all corners for four hours. The pig’s strategy seemed to be to push the anti-fascists into to the sun in hopes of tiring us out in order to let the fascists protesters have their little march around downtown but we were not going down without a fight. There was a air of amateurishness within the ranks of the 200 something DPS riot cops today as many of them appeared to be visibly shaken and breaking discipline quite frequently. Perhaps there was a mass recruitment of DPS officers recently or maybe it was time for the rookies to try their training in the streets. There were points where we could see DPS officers breaking their line to in fact step away from the aggressing anti-fascist. They in turn had to be physically forced back into line by the head pig in charge. At one point, in an attempt to beat and arrest antifascist protesters, the riot cops charged into the crowd full force attacking and pushing people back, forcing people with families and small children to leave the area.

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What the pigs were met with instead was a vicious fight back in which  several pigs were hit on their helmets and in their faces. Homemade shields and sticks were used to meet their aggression and in the end antifascists managed to make two de-arrests and no one was taken into custody though the pigs tried their best to do so. You could see them frantically pointing out people who they claimed stuck them with sticks in an attempt to have the brave comrades arrested but they were not able to arrest a single person. It would appear that they were not prepared for the level of defense and coordination that antifascists went into this counter demo with. We maintain that it is our goal to grow in numbers and strength and that DPS and fellow pigs will never get away with assaulting us that easily.  We encourage all to resist being kidnapped by the enemy and to fight back when you are attacked. Street battles like these are important concerts for our class, these kinds of conflicts train and prepare militants for future actions.

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While there were many brave fighters on the frontlines of the police aggression we did not neglect the task of spreading anti-fascist literature and winning the support of many attendees and passersby,  passing out pamphlets that explained what an antifascist is and the necessity of antifascism. We see popularizing antifascism as a key part of moving forward, no less important than militarization.  There were multiple occasions where random tourists and people walking by stopped to thank antifascists for holding it down against ACT for America and in many cases some people hung out for a few minutes and joined in with antifascist chants. We had people of all stripes who found themselves showing support for the communists and anarchists who were drowning out the chants of the reactionaries.

After the police escalated violence against the antifascists many families with small children were forced to leave because of the dangerous situation the pigs had created. This did in fact decrease numbers.  At some point it’s arguable that we were possibly out-numbered by the fascists towards the end of the protest; however this did not prevent us from holding ground. This was a testament to our endurance and confidence—our side simply fought harder and worked harder for the win. In the end the fascists walked away from their place on the fence demoralized and beaten and as each one filed out we took their spot further humiliating them, waving red flags and giving them an Austin antifascist goodbye. Soon after the DPS pigs filed out by the dozens leaving just APD to deal with the ensuing victory march! The fascists were not allowed to march in our streets whether or not they got permits. We on the other hand will continue to march when we want and where we want because we are the proletariat. Communists, anarchists, and other anti-fascists marched the very route that the fascist so desperately wanted to take. APD had a hell of a time trying to coral us as we jumped on top of their road blocks and took the streets. Simply put, it was a victory. The ragtag groups of reactionaries were sent packing and smaller groups of them were stalked through downtown on foot and in cars- some expressing concerns of getting jumped by anti-fascists. The heavy police presence prevented them from meeting prompt street justice but we suspect this will not always be the case. Many of them looked scared and confused and to them we say:  never forget that feeling because it only gets worse from here for you if you continue to try to organize in our city.

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While the fascists once again imported into our city, comrades throughout Texas brought crucial energy to the event, to them we owe our most sincere gratitude. Red salute to the Revolutionary Association of Houston–not only was their presence on the streets of great assistance to us but we are also delighted to see the spread of Maoism outside of Austin. We hope that Houston and Austin become sister cities and future bastions of red power. As always much love to our neighbors the Revolutionary Front San Marcos who have been locked in antifascist struggles of their own. Thanks to every local activist and antifascist and all who came to town to help us in this victory. Tactical alliances were of great importance and some serious differences were temporarily set aside so that the day would go to the antifascists. We commend all who fought alongside of us today.

Our objectives were simple: defend the people of Austin, deny the anti-Muslim bigots their ability to give speeches, and block any ability they would have to march in our beloved city. All three of these objectives were met. More important than single victories or defeats is persistence, adaptability, courage in battle and constant vigilance.

Increase the pressure!

Drown fascism in a sea of resistance!

-Red Guards Austin, June 10th 2017

On the rise of White, Right Wing Terrorism in the US

 

 

It has come to our attention that out of state fascists have been plotting false flag terrorist attacks which they aim to pin on “antifa.” A group of alt-right 4chan trolls who call themselves “anti-communist action” have mentioned the cities of Portland, Austin and San Bernardino as potential sites for their terrorist activity. These plots could be an effort from far right internet trolls to spread fear and doubt, or they could very well be concrete plots to harm the people. These types of attacks have taken place and do take place so they must be regarded seriously. Fascists will go to any length to accomplish their hateful goals. We must constantly organize against fascist terrorism, expose it to the people and steel them against it. We must win over the masses of people who are repulsed by such actions and turn those people into committed antifascists.

 

Fascism can be understood as the open terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (our current elite ruling class of monopoly capitalists). Anti-social terrorism is a reactionary action. Violent attacks hell bent on turning the hands of time backward against any social progress, whether it is genuine progress or just the unfounded fears of the right. It comes as no surprise that with the rise of fascism we see an increase in anti-social terrorism. Fascism both as a form of government as well as a social movement is inherently unstable; it must rely on desperate acts of malice and brutality.  Even at lower levels of fascist organizing we see these actions and they will only grow in proportion with the fascist movement. It must be understood that the fascist will act out every level of violence they feel capable off and that bus stop knife attacks are a promise of future pogroms if unchecked.

 

Communists and other anti-fascists must be far sighted; this is why we do not rely on terrorism or any other violent anti-social activities. We work alongside the people in their day to day struggles to build popular movements, because without the masses of people all movements have a short shelf life. It is the masses of people themselves who are the movers of history; it is the people who propel history forward. This activity of the people is another reason why fascists rely on terrorism against the people themselves. This mass mobilization is what will rid the world of fascism. Our class must be organized into the Communist Party—a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party which will lead in this battle. Terrorism and other anti-people crimes will not bring us closer to revolution; this is only accomplished through the conscious activity of the masses. Communists condemn individualist acts of violence because they do not and cannot serve our class. It is our ideology of class action which the state fears more than such individual actions. We must not tolerate activity which is reckless with the trust of our people.

 

The neo-Nazi internet trolls of 4chan have tried and to some degree been successful at popularizing their movement, but hardwired into these people is a streak of anti-social behavior that can put them at odds with even their right wing allies when they finally emerge out of the dark recesses of the internet and into the streets. The “alt-right” is just the term they prefer to hide their neo-nazi politics behind, with shitty hipster haircuts and a more palatable dress code. This is just another sub-cultural style which they use to gain mass appeal while clinging to plausible deniability of their fascist ideology.

 

Fascism tends to rely on dishonest populism and cryptic politics in order to capture an audience. It is for these same reasons that it must be ideologically confronted, exposed and denied a platform.  Whenever fascism creeps into practical organizing it must be sent running back to its dungeons, even there it should be hunted monitored and pursued out of existence.

 

American fascists will pose a hardline on far right Islamic fundamentalists, even though their ideology is only a stone’s throw away from it.  This can be at times perplexing because both are religious or far right extremists and the contempt can only be found in their oppositional nationalisms as well as the white supremacist ideology of the American fascist. Fascism is rife with contradiction; it cannot seek harmony even with itself. The more that we can expose these contradictions the more difficult the fascist will find it to organize using the conventional methods of the left—protests and mass gatherings etc.

 

While Trump claims that he will protect America from the kind of terrorist attacks London has been experiencing, what becomes clear is that these types of terrorist attacks on US soil are not being carried out by ISIS. They are being carried out by Trump’s most fervent supporters. It is the very people who champion the reactionary fascist slogan “make America great again” who are the ones terrorizing the population.

 

It would seem the right always behaves as a dog backed into a corner and this is consistent with their ideology. These “patriots” are reeling from the influx of immigrants that are the result of all American imperialist conquest across the world.  A quick scroll through their forums and you can see them crying out about wanting to preserve the White race from genocide—because apparently the influx of black and brown people equals end of white people? This sort of racial paranoia leaves some of us asking “Now who are the ‘snowflakes’ again?” They make jokes about the left being “triggered” by their vulgar behavior yet it is they who shiver and cry “genocide” at the sight of mixed race babies.

 

While the fascist will at times try to use traditionally left wing methods and appear as activists, it is terrorism that is at their core. They even attempt to move into direct action “antifa” style confrontations in a desperate effort to secure their platform. We will never stoop to their level of anti-social terrorism; we will not stoop to crimes against the people! While the left and the right are mainly in a propaganda war at this stage we must nonetheless confront them. Their attacks on antifascists and the broad masses must be met with swift resistance by any means. Fascism must be resisted at all costs and we must build a popular antifascists movement—this is our crucial task. While not every single one of us can be on the frontlines it is important that we all find our place in the struggle against fascism. There are so many avenues for us to push the message of antifascism. We must remain creative and interwoven in the fabric of the people’s everyday life. We have to build a culture of resistance and rebellion. Whether by words or by deeds every act against fascism is needed: do not shut up, do not back down and do not hide in fear. The future which they promise is far more horrifying than anything we face today. Take heart and do not let them have an inch. We will win; we have only two choices ahead, resistance or subjugation.

 

-Red Guards Austin, June 9th 2017